ian has written 15 reviews for films rated ★★★★ .

  • Ida

    Ida

    ★★★★

    Slight but expansive. Stunning, gimmick-free cinematography. RIYL stark European film a la Tarkovsky, Tarr, and Haneke.

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    ★★★★

    ILD didn't reveal much more on a second viewing. Still looks incredible and Llewyn is still a complex and compelling character. The music is still wonderful.

    One thing I did experience on second viewing was the thinness of John Goodman's portrayal of Roland Turner. There's not much there, and the comic relief fell flat for me.

  • Short Term 12

    Short Term 12

    ★★★★

    This one really resonated with me. I worked in group homes in my 20s, and the scenes set on the unit really rang true for me. The love story was also understated and moving, with great performances from both leads. The narrative got a little labored in the 2nd and 3rd acts, with some unnecessary machinations, but that didn't neutralize this film's charm for me.

    Keith Stanfield turned in a really powerful performance as Marcus. The pain written on this kid's face... damn.

    Excited to see what's next from this obviously talented auteur.

  • Brian Eno 1971–1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth

    Brian Eno 1971–1977: The Man Who Fell To Earth

    ★★★★

    Artfully executed doc about one of the true giants of modern music. A must-see for anyone interested in Roxy, Eno, or the nexus of experimental music and rock n' roll.

  • 12 Years a Slave

    12 Years a Slave

    ★★★★

    Give Chiwetel Ejiofor all of the awards.

  • 20 Feet from Stardom

    20 Feet from Stardom

    ★★★★

    Possible side effects include: goosebumps, weeping, and having to pick your jaw up off the floor. If these women's incredible stories don't move you in some way, you may have already expired.

  • Nebraska

    Nebraska

    ★★★★

    A minor revelation. Small in scale, expansive in theme, and gorgeous to look at.

  • Stories We Tell

    Stories We Tell

    ★★★★

    Polley is a remarkable, fearless filmmaker. I can't wait to see what she does next.

  • Inside Llewyn Davis

    Inside Llewyn Davis

    ★★★★

    Profoundly affecting, with the usual fascinating jumble of Coen tropes that I'll be trying to tease out over the coming days and weeks.

    I'm not sure we even deserve the Ethan and Joel, but I'm sure glad we have them.

  • Upstream Color

    Upstream Color

    ★★★★

    Loved. Loved even more before I read Carruth's explanation. But man, what a gifted director. I'll happily wait 5 years for his next film.

  • Pacific Rim

    Pacific Rim

    ★★★★

    Giant Fucking Robots fighting Giant Fucking Space Aliens + Idris Fucking Elba. Fuck yes.

  • The Act of Killing

    The Act of Killing

    ★★★★

    Absolutely haunting.